Date of Award

Summer 8-6-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Chair

Sherry S. Herron (Co-Chair) and Jiu Ding (Co-Chair)

Committee Chair Department

Center for Science and Math Education

Committee Member 2

Haiyan Tian

Committee Member 2 Department

Mathematics

Committee Member 3

Jeremy Lyle

Committee Member 3 Department

Mathematics

Committee Member 4

Richard Mohn

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 5

Rejoice Mudzimiri

Committee Member 5 Department

Mathematics

Abstract

Fractal geometry has gained great attention from mathematicians and scientists in the past three decades (Fraboni, & Moller, 2008). As a new geometry language and subject, fractal geometry has significant value in teaching and learning secondary mathematics. The present study focused on investigating the current state of mathematics teachers’ awareness, interest, and knowledge of fractal geometry in the U.S. and China, as well as the factors that influence them.

The instrument of the study included a survey and a test designed by the researcher and validated by five experts. The results of the study indicated that secondary math teachers in the U.S. and China had very low levels of awareness of fractals and lack the knowledge and skills of solving fractal problems, but they had a higher level of interest in fractals related to classroom teaching and professional development as compared with their levels of awareness. Furthermore, the results of this study indicated that the factor ‘experience of learning fractals’ had the most positive effect on the average score of awareness. The factor nationality (U.S.) had the most positive effect on the average score of interest. The factor nationality (U.S.) had the most negative effect on the average score of knowledge.

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